Asthma Prevalence

June 26, 2007


Asthma continues to be a concern among America’s Children. According to the National Centers for Health Statistics report The State of Childhood Asthma, United States, 1980–2005:

Millions of children in the United States are affected by asthma, a chronic respiratory disease characterized by attacks of difficulty breathing. An asthma attack is a distressing and potentially life-threatening experience. Scientific advances have greatly improved the understanding of the mechanisms that cause asthma attacks and have led to effective medical interventions to prevent morbidity and improve quality of life. Yet, the burden in prevalence, health care use, and mortality remains high. Asthma remains a significant public health problem in the United States.

Follow the link to some of the best info available on childhood asthma

Fireworks Deaths and Injuries

June 14, 2007

Fourth of July celebrations are nearly synonymous with fireworks. Fireworks can be very dangerous if used carelessly or improperly.

  • In 2003, four persons died and an estimated 9,300 were treated in emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries in the United States .
  • An estimated 5% of fireworks-related injuries treated in emergency departments required hospitalization.

 More info is available in this fact sheet.


June 14, 2007

The onset of summer means more people will be engaged in recreational activities in or around the water and will be at greater risk of drowning. CDC has developed an extensive fact sheet on water related injuries. It provides a great factual basis for a feature article.

Father’s Day

June 14, 2007

Father’s Day approaches.

Most of the data we at the National Center for Health Statistics have on fathers is found in our National Vital Statistics Report Births: Final Data for 2004.

The birth rate per 1,000 men aged 15–54 years was 48.8 in 2004, slightly lower than the rate in 2003 (48.9), but higher than the all-time low of 48.4 reported in 2002 (Table 21). The birth rate for males aged 15–19 years was 17.0 in 2004, essentially unchanged from the all-time low of 16.9 in 2003. Between 2003 and 2004 rates declined for men in their twenties, but increased for men aged 30–49 years. Rates for men aged 50 years and over were essentially unchanged.

We also have an interesting matrix tracing the age of father vs age of mother for teen mothers from 1990 through 2003.  

The Census Bureau has a lot of interesting factoids concerning fathers.

Alzheimer’s Disease Prevalence Data

June 14, 2007

Periodically we receive questions about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States.

 At the National Center for Health Statistics we don’t track the prevalence of the disease other than in terms of mortality and hospice and nursing home care.

The National Institutes on Aging have produced prevalence estimates and projections as has the Office of the Surgeon General.

Maternal Mortality

June 13, 2007

In 1915, the maternal mortality rate was 607.9 deaths per 100,000 live births for the birth registration area. In 2003, the maternal mortality rate was 12.1 deaths per 100,000 live births in the United States. Despite this tremendous overall improvement, maternal mortality continues to be a significant public health issue and commands an enormous amount of attention.

This from our February 2007 report entitled Maternal Mortality and Related Concepts.

 This comprehensive report traces maternal mortality back to 1915. Download it and check it out.

Morbid Obesity

June 13, 2007

Overweight and obesity data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for the National Center for Health Statistics show obesity increasing among Americans of all ages.

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index  (BMI) of 30 or greater.

There is a subset of obesity called morbid or extreme obesity which is defined as having a BMI of 40 or greater or weighing in excess of 100 pounds of one’s ideal weight. The National Center for Health Statistics does not track that number.

 However several of our scientists, writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) do report on this particular condition.  For the period 2003-2004 almost 5 percent of adults were extremely obese.

There JAMA articles can be found here and here.


June 1, 2007

Tuberculosis has been in the news lately because of the story concerning the man with “extensively drug resistant” tuberculosis (XDR TB) who has been quarantined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The National Center for Health Statistics does not track tuberculosis cases. That is done by the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. An online database of TB cases can be accessed here.

We do track deaths from tuberculosis, XDR and otherwise.

1999  1119

2000  901

2001  875

2002  892 

2003  791

2004  739

Reported cases of tuberculosis can be found here.

Links to various federal and state regulations governing the quarantine of patients are here.